After our gorgeous weather of the first couple of days of our trip we had some light rain on Thursday night. This caused much rejoicing, as the north of the South Island is in drought, with water restrictions and farmers considering some destocking.
It was dry again in the morning, which was good, as Lou and Tony were going to play tour guides for a trip up to the lakes.
We were somewhat amazed when we saw our first mountains – firstly as they were suddenly there and rather impressive in size, secondly in that they had a covering of snow on the higher peaks. This surprised Tony and Lou as well. Bonus for us.
We passed through the interesting Burkes Pass (pardon the pun), to reach Mackenzie Country……..
….A vast flat plain surrounded by mountains.
We travelled along and then turned a corner to see this!
Lake Tekapo. The colour of the water is stunning and would be even more so if it was sunny.
We hopped out of the car and froze! Yep that breeze was coming off snow alright. We encountered our first touristy place full of coaches, campervans and a multitude of different languages being spoken. This lakeside church is rather picturesque. There was even a wedding practice taking place.
There was a monument to the sheepdogs which have helped the farmers over so many years in the area.
Now that looks cold.
After travelling a bit further we came to another gorgeous lake and this time the sun was out turning the lake a beautiful aqua. This is Lake Pukaki.
How would you like to live in one of these homes overlooking the lake and mountains.
Time for a happy snap of us all.
Another monument. This time to the Himalayan Tahr, which were introduced as a game animal, but have since been greatly reduced in numbers as they became feral.
Next stop was Twizel for a hot pie for lunch. Just what was needed on such a cold day.
Time for a detour to the Clay Cliffs. Not what you expect after the previous scenery. Very stark.
Back on track we visited Lake Benmore which is the start of a hydro electric power generating system that links three lakes.
It is the largest earth walled dam in the southern hemisphere.
And still a beautiful recreational lake as well.
We covered a lot of ground in the one day. The scenery was stunning, with the snow capped mountain backdrop. Having Lou and Tony also added so much, both by being great company and providing that local knowledge we would never have had otherwise.
It was a very memorable day,